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Thread: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Holy crap. It's in the middle, and I couldn't see it when I looked down in the loop. Guess who feels unbelievably stupid now? I'll have to edit that!
    Note to self: sleep first, play flashlight after...

    I tried the Minimus some at work last night, but it suffered the same problem as when I tried one of my H30w Zebralights after my H60w died-not enough output without killing the battery, and made worse by not having a rechargeable option. Lots of dark areas surrounded by ones with bright ambient light, so it has to be cranked up to get much use from. I'd love to have a Saint version with a 4xAA pack for my hardhat. Not gonna hold my breath for that one, though!
    Last edited by Owen; 03-31-2012 at 08:02 AM.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    -It's dim. Lowest output is significantly lower than my Zebralight SC51Fw's L2 advertised at .16 lumens. My multimeter only reads in multiple of 10mA, so 10mA is what it shows at lowest.
    -It's bright. Highest output is probably triple the SC51Fw's H1 advertised at 164 OTF lumens. Pulls about 1A at max output.
    -It's everything in between. Runtime for my use will not be an issue. My H30w on medium draws ~50mA from a CR123A, and is more than I need for night hiking. Due to the more concentrated beam, similarly usable output from the Vision draws ~30mA.
    Ok, keeping in mind these are handheld with a point and shoot camera without lockable settings, and each of these must be viewed individually-cannot view these side by side and get an accurate representation of brightness between them(white balance set with SC51Fw on high on white door, but the wall is beige, so tint is relative):

    Zebralight SC51Fw(or H51Fw-should be the same) L2, rated .16 lumens vs. Minimus Vision's lowest setting:


    Zebralight H30w on low, rated <4 lumen vs. Minimus Vision's lowest setting:


    Zebralight SC51Fw H1, rated 164 lumens vs. Minimus Vision's highest setting:


    Malkoff M60WLF, rated 100 lumens vs. Minimus Vision's highest setting:


    So...yeah
    Last edited by Owen; 04-03-2012 at 07:53 AM.

  3. #63
    Flashaholic pulstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Wow, this thing looks bright! And warm! And with quite a throw! Damn, now i am really thinking about buying minimus vision...
    Last edited by pulstar; 04-04-2012 at 06:44 AM.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in AZ View Post
    A week ago I had a similar problem with a Surefire Saint headlamp on a critical all-night SAR mission. Delayed a helicopter several minutes fiddling with it before giving up and scrounging for an older, dimmer, inadequate backup to go along with a hand flashlight. Sent it to Surefire, will see what I get back. Was kind of eyeballing the maximus until this happened, and then read your story. I was able to get the Saint to work the next day, but not about to trust it miles away from support until Surefire takes a look at it.
    This is to Jerimoth and/or Bill in AZ:
    Has the problem been identified and fixed?

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by RNDDUDE View Post
    The latest revision of the Minimus has addressed the body tension issue by replacing the two static tension pins with larger pins that have a small set screw in each pin to allow user adjustment of the tension to compensate for wear/manufacturing tolerances, the artifact issue has been eliminated by modifying the refector housing, excessive light knob tension has been adressed with internal seal changes, and the knob lengthened to improve grip. Additionally, a battery cap lanyard has been added to prevent knob dropping/loss.
    Is there a way to identify the latest improved version by just looking at the lamp? or from the box?
    Last edited by BenChiew; 04-15-2012 at 10:15 AM.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Ok, keeping in mind these are handheld with a point and shoot camera without lockable settings, and each of these must be viewed individually-cannot view these side by side and get an accurate representation of brightness between them(white balance set with SC51Fw on high on white door, but the wall is beige, so tint is relative):
    .....

    So...yeah
    That looks like way more than the 75 lumens it is rated for. Is that the minimus or maximus?

  7. #67

    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    OWEN...thanks for the pics, but I am a bit confused, of the 4 different SF headlights in the thread title, which are you alluding to? You seem to be describing a Maximus (the 500 lumen 18650-based rechargeable) but you say Minimus (C123 or AA versions) in your post. Can you clarify which you were evaluating?

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!


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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Wow so the 70 lumen Minimus (CR123) actually puts out well over 164 lumens of the zebralight. Looks like over 400 lumens in the picture above, maybe more, picture looks more like my S12 vs my H51C :P

    Why on earth would they under-rate the light so much, I don't see how that creates a selling point for surefire.

    The Maximus must be insane.
    Last edited by Justintoxicated; 04-20-2012 at 06:35 PM.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    I received a Maximus as a late Xmas gift from my friend a few weeks ago. It looks/feels a little bulky but it was light enough to stay strapped to my head. I charged it up til the indicator was green. Strapped it onto my head and boy is it BRIGHT!!! Compared to my Saint it's BRIGHT. It lights up the room. Anything that's 30 feet away is well lit. It has a clicky feel when adjusting it up and down. The on/off knob turns nice and smooth. Easy one handed operation. I also have the Saint and the Maximus is a big improvement!!! I would prefer to have a CR123 option just in case the built in rechargeable battery runs out.

  11. #71

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    So far I am waiting to hear what Surefire says about the problem I reported earlier. I would be reluctant to rely on it for my primary SAR headlight sticking instead with a Lupine or PT model and several backups.

  12. #72
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    I have a Minimus which I basically use when I go hiking and overall I'm pretty happy with it. They're a little pricey and I think the runtime on high should be better but I like it. I do wish it had some sort of 'lock out' tail cap designed into it to prevent the light from coming on accidentally. This would have been a nice safety feature and be less of a hassle then removing the battery. Otherwise so far so good. If I was doing it again I'd probably go with the Vision, it seems similar to a M61LLW. To those that have both the Minimus & Minimus Vision if you don't mind posting I would like to see a comparison shot of the beams.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by P_A_S_1 View Post
    I do wish it had some sort of 'lock out' tail cap designed into it to prevent the light from coming on accidentally. This would have been a nice safety feature and be less of a hassle then removing the battery. Otherwise so far so good.
    My Vision came on accidentally last week while riding in a hipbelt pocket on my pack in anticipation of being used. Fortunately, it was at the very lowest setting. My solution is keeping it in the Oakley "Soft Vault" case that gets used for my sunglasses. I wear sunglasses right up to sunset, so when it gets dark, they go in the case, and the headlamp comes out. Works out pretty well. I don't think I'll be needing both at the same time!

  14. #74

    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by yota4by4 View Post
    This is to Jerimoth and/or Bill in AZ:
    Has the problem been identified and fixed?
    I received a replacement Surefire Saint. Have had a couple of long duration nighttime SAR's and it worked fine. Last Saturday I had another all nighter, quite a bit of it in water in a deep canyon. It was never submersed due to PFD, though very likely splashed a few times. Towards morning it powered itself off occasionally - a bit disconcerting in a deep, dark canyon. Possibly due to low battery, though my previous light simply went dim when battery went low. Played with it a bit before putting in new batteries. If I turned it on fairly low, it would stay on for a while, then randomly cycle off, but if I turned it up all the way it would flash 3 times, then remain on at high setting instead of going dim. I have done some searching to see if this is expected behavior, but haven't found anything yet. Found some references to if it gets hot it may power itself off, though it did not feel hot, and it was a cool night in the low 40's. I had run it on its highest setting all night due to a tricky water rescue.

    Does anyone know what the behavior of a Surefire Saint should be? Either overheating or maybe when the battery gets low? I think I would much prefer the light simply go dim rather than power off.

  15. #75

    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    This is all very worrisome from a SAR perspective. When you head off with your 24-hour pack you know you might actually be gone for longer than that, and everything- from your insulation to your crampons to your ropes, biners, and pro- all need to bomber. You have to pack light enough that you're not exhausted after a carry-out and you don't become a patient yourself.

    Also, if you're being picked up by a regular medical helicopter - e.g. something other than a national guard Blackhawk, and inserted on scene, every ounce counts - you're expected to know your own weight and the weight of your pack so extras of anything are a problem. For now I'm waiting to hear what GoingGear has to say- they told me they are awaiting word from Surefire. For now I'll stick with other lights that I know are bombproof.

  16. #76

    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    I had an older handheld Surefire 9P (I think) with me all night and it *was* submerged for several hours. It also quit by morning, though it did not appear to be wet inside. I got it working again next day by scraping the outer contact of the switch, and running emery cloth over the mating side on the flashlight body.

    I sent an email to Surefire asking about the odd behavior of the Saint. Hope to get an answer soon, as SAR season is off to a busy start. What's your bombproof headlamp, and is it waterproof?

  17. #77

    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    I have a Petzl Ultra - I'm not sure the exact name of the model, but I'm impressed with the lithium battery and how long it lasts. Seems very rugged and has survived dense rain, and snow but I've never dropped it in the water. It's a bit on the heavy side, so I was optimistic about the Surefire which I think is lighter, and I have always had great success with older Surefires.

    I had a bicycle light- Light-in Motion model 200, I think it's name was, that was actually pretty bombproof, and lightweight. It was stolen when I ditched my pack to respond to a heart attack with an O2 tank and AED and had to lighten my load- somebody stole my pack and I lost that light- which actually I think seemed more bomber than the Petzl- and a GPS unit, and a uniform jacket, sleeping bag, and bivi sack, among other things.

    I also have a Lupine halogen - not sure of the name but it's not made any more- so I'm saving up for maybe another Lupine model if the Surefire really doesn't work out. As a backup I use the Black Diamond Storm- which so far as survived a number of nights in the snow- not in New hampshire where I work but on vacation in the Andes- in NH we didn't get much snow this winter. So, I'd rank the high output headlights, in terms of being bombproof:
    Light in Motion
    Petzl Ultra or Lupine
    Black Diamond- waterproof but not as beefy as the others.
    I also carry a few mini coleman headlights- el cheapo but very light weight- afterall there was a time when the 3 LED Petzl Tikka was all one really needed for most rescues or for alpine climbing.
    The need for more throw and flood, now that it's available, isn't overwhelming- In fifteen years I've never ever found someone with a bright light- oddly called in this forum "the SAR light" because in New Hampshire the trees are so dense that for most of us it's always been with air scent dogs or a whistle or a FLIR on a helicopter- but still it's nice to be able to light up an area to see if it'd make a good LZ, or light up an area in front of a litter team to figure out where the trail is, or where there are various obstacles such as downed trees and waterbars. Oddly, I think the most important thing it does is makes it clear that I'm in charge! Sometimes after an exhausting rescue I don't want to have be yelling at people- rescues work much better when people cooperate and aren't overly driven by testosterone. Slow is smooth- smooth is fast, and I'd rather keep it mellow and not have to deal with people who think they're in charge when they're not- we call it the Mr. Rescue syndrome. So I think lumen firepower is actually similar to other ways of asserting authority- a badge, a gun, etc. - it helps assert authority.

    The other use of the new breed of LED lights is unrelated to SAR - it's in park law enforcement- coming on a campsite where people are rowdy and drunk and disturbing others- and I'm alone-they can't see me because of the campfire- an insanely bright handheld light to the eyes has a way of sending people scurrying to their tents. I turn up my radio volume and they don't know much but they know I'm not alone.
    Last edited by Jerimoth; 04-30-2012 at 07:37 PM.

  18. #78
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Was able to check out the Minimus Vision in a sporting goods store today. It was hard to really get a good idea of the brightness and color due to the bright store lighting but overall it was nice. Better then the standard Minimus. They also had the older style Minimus there to compare it with. One things for sure is the original style was definitely a smaller package. While I prefer the feel of the newer model I do wish they kept the size the same. The newer seems large and bulky in comparison. Surefire should strive to make the next generations of the Minimus similar in size to the original, similar in build quality to the current model, better runtime (think HDS), and some how incorporate a 'lock out' battery cap. That and lowering their price point slightly to be more competitive and I think they would have something special. Wishful thinking ?

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    My Minimus Vision shipped today, and I am excited to get it. After reading this thread I'm definitely going to carry my Petzl Tactikka as a backup until I'm comfortable with the SF's reliability (which is why I bought it in the first place).

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    If you read the starting page of this thread you will notice that I gave quite a negative feedback on the Minimus Vision. All these have changed over time. In actual use, the beam artifact is not really an issue unless white wall hunting. As for the squeaky rotary switch, Surefire got it sorted out for me so it is now no longer squeaky. I admit that I hadn't used the headlamp much when I first got it, but ever since it came back from SF I have been using it frequently and boy do I love it now.

    It has a very nice warmish tint suitable for outdoors usage and the rotating switch dial makes it a breeze to change output levels although sometimes I still get annoyed by the fact that I am always accidentally grabbing onto my hair while rotating the dial. Maybe I really need to get myself a GI haircut to really enjoy this light but it is still bearable. Also, I prefer the SF headband over the ones supplied by Zebralight as it felt more stable and doesn't allow too much wobble on my head. Though I still like my Zebralight headlamps, I find myself going for the Minimus Vision more and more. During a five days field exercise in the Army, I have been using the Minimus Vision every night for cooking and reading during my free time, and since I frequently use it on medium or lower outputs, the single CR123 lasted the five days and more when I continue to use it for some of my personal camping trips. Definitely efficient enough for my usage.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  21. #81
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    thanks for the updates...
    i keep coming back to the minimus vision, and its good to know about long term user experiences with it.
    i might just have to finally get it and try it out for myself.

  22. #82
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    thanks for the updates...
    i keep coming back to the minimus vision, and its good to know about long term user experiences with it.
    i might just have to finally get it and try it out for myself.
    Maybe you might be disappointed and then maybe you might be like me, only learning to appreciate it much later on? But then again it is also highly possible that you will love it? As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. It is definitely a nice and tough illumination tool. I say go for it.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  23. #83
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    If you read the starting page of this thread you will notice that I gave quite a negative feedback on the Minimus Vision. All these have changed over time. In actual use, the beam artifact is not really an issue unless white wall hunting. As for the squeaky rotary switch, Surefire got it sorted out for me so it is now no longer squeaky. I admit that I hadn't used the headlamp much when I first got it, but ever since it came back from SF I have been using it frequently and boy do I love it now.

    It has a very nice warmish tint suitable for outdoors usage and the rotating switch dial makes it a breeze to change output levels although sometimes I still get annoyed by the fact that I am always accidentally grabbing onto my hair while rotating the dial. Maybe I really need to get myself a GI haircut to really enjoy this light but it is still bearable. Also, I prefer the SF headband over the ones supplied by Zebralight as it felt more stable and doesn't allow too much wobble on my head. Though I still like my Zebralight headlamps, I find myself going for the Minimus Vision more and more. During a five days field exercise in the Army, I have been using the Minimus Vision every night for cooking and reading during my free time, and since I frequently use it on medium or lower outputs, the single CR123 lasted the five days and more when I continue to use it for some of my personal camping trips. Definitely efficient enough for my usage.
    I read the entire thread (and another one on the Minimus) and it does seem that over time SF worked out the kinks so that puts me at ease. But still, when I see stuff like this I wonder "what sort of problems will mine have that may not be worked out?". At least I know what to look for, and if mine has problems SF will make it right.

  24. #84
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    Maybe you might be disappointed and then maybe you might be like me, only learning to appreciate it much later on? But then again it is also highly possible that you will love it? As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. It is definitely a nice and tough illumination tool. I say go for it.
    so has anybody found out what emitter surefire is using for the vision model?

    is the rated 75 lumens enough for outdoor use? i got my fingers crossed that surefire under-rated it.
    Owen posted that the vision is 3x brighter than the SC51w. any estimate of actual lumens coming out of it?
    i had a H31w XP-E and H51w, and i didnt like the narrow hotspots. the vision's hotspot looks nice and wide, but still offering decent throw. could its beam be compared to the LX2? but with an even wider hotspot?

    ive been waiting for the H502w, but ive never been a big fan of zebralights UI. plus, ive been wanting a headlamp that uses primaries for awhile, since all my other lights use CR123.

  25. #85
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by cland72 View Post
    I read the entire thread (and another one on the Minimus) and it does seem that over time SF worked out the kinks so that puts me at ease. But still, when I see stuff like this I wonder "what sort of problems will mine have that may not be worked out?". At least I know what to look for, and if mine has problems SF will make it right.
    Other than the artifact in the beam, there isn't any other problems that I have encountered. Unfortunately, Surefire told me that the artifact in the beam is normal and within the design specs. Like I said above, I am used to the slight artifact in the beam and it really is not an issue in actual use.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  26. #86
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    so has anybody found out what emitter surefire is using for the vision model?

    is the rated 75 lumens enough for outdoor use? i got my fingers crossed that surefire under-rated it.
    Owen posted that the vision is 3x brighter than the SC51w. any estimate of actual lumens coming out of it?
    i had a H31w XP-E and H51w, and i didnt like the narrow hotspots. the vision's hotspot looks nice and wide, but still offering decent throw. could its beam be compared to the LX2? but with an even wider hotspot?

    ive been waiting for the H502w, but ive never been a big fan of zebralights UI. plus, ive been wanting a headlamp that uses primaries for awhile, since all my other lights use CR123.
    I doubt anyone could assuredly say what emitter is in the Minimus Vision, but a speculation would be that SF is using the SSC P4 high CRI in there. I tend to believe this is true since the tint color seem quite similar to that of my legacy high CRI HDS clicky.

    As for the output, I would say that it is enough for my own outdoor use. Looks to be brighter than 75 lumen for sure but I don't think it is 3 times brighter than the SC51w. Personally I have compared it to the H51Fw and they seem almost the same in brightness. The beam is definitely very different from the LX2. Minimus is more of a flood light with slightly lesser than moderate throw whereas the LX2 is a throw light with very focused beam and little side spill. In my opinion, they both compliment each other quite well.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  27. #87
    Flashaholic ProofTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Iíve had a Minimus Vision for a little over a month now and have been very happy with it. I, like many others, can see an artifact in the beam while white wall hunting, but I never notice it while Iím actually using the headlamp.

    I can see the emitter in my Minimus Vision very well through the optic and I have no doubt the emitter is an XR-E.

    Paul

  28. #88
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by ProofTech View Post
    I’ve had a Minimus Vision for a little over a month now and have been very happy with it. I, like many others, can see an artifact in the beam while white wall hunting, but I never notice it while I’m actually using the headlamp.

    I can see the emitter in my Minimus Vision very well through the optic and I have no doubt the emitter is an XR-E.

    Paul
    good to know of another happy user, im pretty set on picking one up, just cant find one of our CPF dealers that has it in stock.
    XR-E? it is a popular LED for surefire.
    Owen also said its pulling about 1amp on max, any reports of the headlamp ever getting hot or uncomfortably warm?

  29. #89
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    Quote Originally Posted by ProofTech View Post
    I’ve had a Minimus Vision for a little over a month now and have been very happy with it. I, like many others, can see an artifact in the beam while white wall hunting, but I never notice it while I’m actually using the headlamp.

    I can see the emitter in my Minimus Vision very well through the optic and I have no doubt the emitter is an XR-E.

    Paul
    Glad you like your Minimus too. Any hints on how you came to the conclusion that it is an XR-E in there? Is it because you see a silver ring around? I can't seem to find any indication of the ring.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  30. #90
    Flashaholic ProofTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

    pjandyho, itís hard for me to tell that thereís a metal ring in there, but I can see everything inside of the ring without too much trouble. I can see a rectangular heat spreader under the square die, two gold wires attached to the die, two other wires attached to the heat spreader, and silver/gray stuff surrounding the die that forms a circle thatís split into two unequally sized parts by a line that follows one of the long edges of the heat spreader.

    Paul

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